Mommy in London

Trying to figure things out!

Bye bye visitors

Our little baby E is 8 weeks old and we’ve just said goodbye to our last overseas visitor. For the past two months we’ve always either had family staying with us or we’ve been preparing for the next set!

It has been lovely for everyone to meet our little darling and to have the help and support during these first couple of months. But…I am really excited for it just to be the three of us for all of December and January. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with my perfect little family!

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Our First Night Out!

Last night we decided it was time to go out for dinner without little E (he’s 7 weeks old). Hubby’s sister babysat for us and we just went to the pub down the road.

It was so difficult! I was holding back tears, I just missed him so much and felt so lost not looking after him. I lasted about an hour and a half and then speed walked home! I couldn’t wait to see him.

Does it get easier? I can’t imagine feeling ok being away from my little man!

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Pumpkin Picking

Last weekend (a few days before Halloween) we had to do a very Canadian activity…take our baby for photos surrounded by pumpkins!  I thought this would be impossible in London, where was I going to find a pumpkin patch in the city?  But with a little googling I was in luck!  There seem to be quite a few farms just outside the city, so we chose one in Surrey that looked nice called Garsons

It was so much fun!  Our first proper family day out with little E.  We walked around the pumpkin patch taking photos, then had a wander through the farm shop and even managed to have lunch in the restaurant.  Unfortunately my little guy cried in most of my pumpkin photos, and as he’s so little and not yet able to hold up his head so my hand is in all of the photos, but it was still worth it!

And an added bonus for any other North Americans in London, they also sell some American food in the shop…totally worth it to spend £3  on a box of Kraft Dinner!

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NCT friends

I feel so lucky to have met such a great group of people from our NCT course.  The other 5 Mums are all very friendly and sociable, which is perfect for me.  I was worried about not knowing many people locally and not many other Mums at all in London.  We met up a few times after the course finished but before we had our babies, and since having our babies we’ve been meeting up once a week.

It is so nice to be able to compare experiences and have a few sympathetic ears to listen to me vent my frustrations.  Being a new Mum is hard work and it’s nice to have 5 other people who understand that first hand.  And having this shared experience seems to have made us very close, very quickly!  I have some friends that I’ve had for years that I wouldn’t tell some of the intimate things that I tell these women.

The other bonus is that we meet in a big, busy cafe every week and the babies seem to love it!  They all sleep so much more than they do at home, we’re starting to call it the ‘Caffe Nero effect’.  We may just have to buy an industrial sized coffee maker and have loads of people come and chat at our house everyday to create that magical atmosphere at home!

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Getting out and about

After about a week at home trying to heal and work out the basics of breastfeeding it was time to get out and about!

Our first outing was all about trying to figure out the pram!  After agonizing in the shop about which one to choose, we had finally settled on the Bugaboo Chameleon.  It is a wonderful pram, but wow is it ever big!  It is quite the challenge to try to put it up and down and to just get it out the door!  As many others in London can probably relate to, we don’t live in the biggest flat in the world…and it’s up 4 flights of stairs!  So it’s all about taking all the bits downstairs and assembling it all.  Not an easy process!  So on that first day that we ventured outside it probably took about an hour to get out, and then we only spent about 15 minutes outside!  I was still quite sore from my infection and poor little E started to cry because he needed feeding (it had taken ages to get out afterall!)

Our second outing we decided to try out the baby carrier (we have a Baby Bjorn) and the good news is that E loves it!  He’ll happily be carried around for ages, fast asleep.  So now I use that mostly when I’m just going somewhere local, at least that was I don’t have to fight with the pram and all those stairs!

After 3 weeks with help at home, I then had to deal with being on my own with E.  This meant getting out on our own as well.  And we couldn’t even put it off, as the first day on our own we had a doctor’s appointment.  So far getting to the doctor’s is the worst thing we have to do, because we have to be there at a specified time.  How does anyone ever manage to get anywhere on time with a baby??? I just don’t understand!  But since then we have managed to get out everyday on our own, and I have to say that I am getting better with manoeuvring the pram every time…and carrying it up and down the stairs everyday is bound to help me lose the baby weight, right?

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Midwives, health visitors and nurses, oh my!

I have to say, the after care when you’ve had a baby in this country is fantastic. Where else do you have midwives coming to your house to follow up and make sure that you and the baby are doing ok?

They were so attentive and came as many times as we needed to make sure that we were healing ok and thriving.  My one and only complaint with the midwives is that they weren’t able to give a specific time of day that they were going to visit, which meant having to stay in all day and wait.  I know it’s not their fault and that it’s all to do with a shortage of midwives in this country, but it is a shame.  Other than that the midwives were lovely and made me feel much more confident about everything.

The health visitor was also lovely and very helpful about local services.  She also arranged to have a nurse come and teach me some baby massage for colic (my poor little guy has a serious problem with wind).

My GP has also been fantastic and has an open door for us to come in at any time with any questions and any concerns.  Overall, I feel very supported and happy with the NHS service here.  If only we were both a bit healthier and didn’t need that much help!

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I’ve had a baby!

I was previously blogging as Pregnant in London

Now I’ve had the baby and I’m ready for all the adventures that life with a baby in London has to bring!

It’s been one month (tomorrow) since my baby E was born and I’m finally getting into the swing of things and finding the time to write in my blog!

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